Corey Norman might not be everyone's cup of tea but you can't say he shies away in big moments.

For the second game in a row, Norman wanted the ball in his hands in crunch time, kicking the Dragons to victory with a clutch golden point field goal.

Paul McGregor hopes his team already has the game put to bed well before the 80th minute on Sunday, but the Dragons can forget about an easy ride against the Bulldogs.

The Doggies were oh-so-close to causing a shocking boil-over last week against Melbourne and Dean Pay deserves credit for shaping this team into a competitive outfit.

Match: Dragons v Bulldogs

Round 5 -

Full Time
Dragons

Home Team

Dragons

Scored 40 points
Bulldogs

Away Team

Bulldogs

Scored 4 points

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

The Rundown

Team news

Dragons: No changes for the Dragons. They will be 1-17. Mitch Allgood and Jonus Pearson were cut on Saturday, Jai Field and Josh Kerr were omitted on Sunday an hour before kick-off. The Dragons have conceded 92 points in three consecutive losses at Netstrata Stadium.

Bulldogs: The Bulldogs have also had a settled preparation with no changes. Injured prop Dylan Napa has been replaced by Ofahiki Ogden in the front row. Canterbury have not lost to the Dragons at Kogarah since 2009. They will be 1-17 as well with reserves Danny Fualalo, Marcelo Montoya, Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Fa'amanu Brown culled from the original 21-man squad.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick Meaney
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Jordan Pereira
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Jayden Okunbor
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Euan Aitken
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Kerrod Holland
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Timoteo Lafai
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Will Hopoate
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Reimis Smith
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Jack Cogger
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Lachlan Lewis

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 James Graham
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Aiden Tolman
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Cameron McInnes
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Ofahiki Ogden
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Corey Harawira-Naera
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Blake Lawrie
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Rhyse Martin

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Jeremy Latimore
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Michael Lichaa
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Zac Lomax
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Sauaso Sue
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Jacob Host
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Adam Elliott
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Luciano Leilua
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Chris Smith

Key match-up

Josh Jackson and Tyson Frizell are different types of backrowers but both are hugely important to their respective teams. Origin incumbent Frizell successfully returned last week after a two-week injury absence, while former Origin rep Jackson is still one of the toughest pound for pound players in the game. Both need to feature prominently on Sunday.

For the Dragons to win

The good thing for McGregor is that he shouldn't have to convince his players about the dangers of underestimating the Dogs after their assertive display against the Storm. If Ben Hunt can play as well as he did against the Broncos in round three the Dragons should be too strong at home.

For the Bulldogs to win

No Kieran Foran and they lost Dylan Napa to an injury after 16 minutes - yet the Doggies soldiered on and still nearly upset the Storm. They can't afford a mental let-down on Sunday against a team that has built confidence over the past fortnight. They need to defend as well as they did against Melbourne, especially against the likes of Norman, Hunt and Matt Dufty.

Brett Kimmorley says

Canterbury have shown they can compete again. They were desperately unlucky to get beat by Melbourne last week. Sometimes that can deflate you, at other times it can make you keep pushing ahead. For the Dragons, Corey Norman has found his niche. Before the comp started I felt Corey Norman was the best purchase of the off-season. In the last two weeks he is living up to that. Dragons by 6

Dragons Stat Attack

The Dragons are first in the NRL in decoy runs (216), second in tackle breaks (144) and equal-third in line breaks (16). They also rank second in total kick metres (2,553).

Bulldogs Stat Attack

The Bulldogs are the NRL's top team in completion rate (84%), off-loads (58) and total kick metres (2,661). Kerrod Holland is the league leader for off-loads (17), while Lachlan Lewis is tops in kick metres (1,703) and Will Hopoate is first in runs (83).

And another thing ...

Had to feel for Rhyse Martin after his missed conversion in the dying moments allowed the Storm to escape with an 18-16 round four victory. Martin had been successful with 41 of his 46 previous attempts dating back to last year. Unfortunately for the Dogs he missed a big one last Sunday - and that was after nailing his first two shots from out wide in the first half.